Posts Tagged 'Phymata'

It’s a trap!

Yesterday, I was poking around a small bush of white flowers looking for insects to photograph. I noticed this butterfly hanging from the bottom of a flower, rather than sitting on top:

What are you doing under there?

I panned around to underneath the flower and found out why:

Unlucky butterfly.

The butterfly had been snared by an ambush bug (Phymatinae), which is a subgroup of assassin bugs (Reduviidae). I think the above animal is a nymph belonging to the genus Phymata. These bugs hang out underneath flower petals until unweary pollinators visit. They then lunge out and snare their prey with their enlarged raptorial appendages, piercing the exoskeleton with a syringe like rostrum.

Here is an adult of the same, or a similar, species. About one of every three flowers in this bush had an ambush bug laying in wait below.

Phymata sp

'Come a bit closer my pretties.'

If any insect-gurus can identify this exact species, it would be much appreciated.


I have moved.
Arthropoda can now be found here.

Michael Bok is a graduate student studying the visual system of mantis shrimp.

Flickr Photos

Florence

20150705-PANO_20150705_160703.jpg

20150704-IMG_8004.jpg

20150703-PANO_20150703_162928.jpg

Tilty Tower

Megalomma interrupta

Bispira brunnea

Protula

Sunset through the Brandenburg Tor

Skåne Sunset

More Photos

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.